The Regatta flagship

Regatta is the flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet.

Oceania Cruises announced this spring its plan to bring a new ship to Alaska. “We are thrilled to add the 49th state to our growing slate of enriching itineraries,” said Frank Del Rio, Oceania Cruises’ founder and chairman/CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings. “We would also like to thank Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell and the Alaska Legislature for their efforts to roll back the head tax on cruise passengers, which was an important consideration in evaluating our deployment alternatives.”

Passengers will travel aboard the Regatta, the flagship of the Oceania fleet. The ship has capacity for 684 guests and a staff of 400. Two other cruise lines will send ships to Alaska next season. Disney’s Wonder, with a passenger capacity of 2,400, will sail seven-day, round-trip itineraries out of Vancouver. Crystal Cruises’ Symphony, with a passenger capacity of 922, will sail 12-day, round-trip itineraries out of San Francisco.

Oceania’s 12-day Glacial Wilderness cruise starts in Vancouver, B.C., with port calls in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Icy Straight Point, Skagway and Sitka. It then crosses the Gulf of Alaska to Seward, Homer and Anchorage. Cruise highlights include Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord and the Wrangell coast, where dozens of petroglyphs of animals and geometric shapes have been carved into the rocks on the beach. The ship will complete 10 Alaska voyages in 2011.

“I am pleased to welcome Oceania Cruises to Alaska for the 2011 season,” Gov. Sean Parnell said. “We are working hard to make Alaska a more attractive place to operate. I hope this is the beginning of a long partnership among Oceania Cruises, our state and the many Alaska businesses that will serve the Regatta and her passengers and crew.”

“Our guests are always seeking destinations rich in history, culture, adventure and stunning scenery. The great state of Alaska delivers all of these points of interest and more,” Del Rio said.

Oceania Cruises was established in 2002. Its three 684-guest ships sail to more than 180 ports in Europe, China and the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The line will introduce two mid-size ships to its fleet in 2010 and 2011. Oceania Cruises is owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings, a subsidiary of Apollo Management L.P.

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